Wyatt Earp is one of the beloved western lawman legends. Like most legends however, what we think we know isn’t always fact. Until relatively recently, movies and books have depicted the Gunfight at the OK Corral as a righteous gun fight between the the Earp brothers (with Doc Holiday) and outlaw cowboys. Few people realize, however, that not only was the fight no where in the vicinity of the O. K. Corral, but the first gunshots likely came from the Earps, and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday were put on trial (albeit acquitted) for the murder of Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton. Many contemporary local accounts found fault with Earp, but little was actually widely known until Stuart Lake published the first major biography of Earp in 1931, which Lake later acknowledged in part “invented”.
For a lighter touch, read more about the legend who loved ice cream, knew John Wayne, and was never injured in a gun fight.